“Midnight Shanghai” is described as a gunslinging indie collaboration between actors and filmmakers from New Mexico and Kansas. The Asian-tinged Western will premiere Saturday, March 11, at 2:30pm at Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE). Several of the cast and crew, including director Ricky Lee, will be on hand at the theater and will participate in a post-screening Q and A. The film’s plot concerns an American Indian woman whose husband is murdered by some bad hombres. Motivated by revenge, she becomes a gunslinger and helps an oppressed Chinese girl fleeing a railroad work camp. The 20-minute short serves as a proposed pilot for a TV series or movie feature Lee and his crew hope to produce in the near future. Admission is free, but seating is limited. For more info, check out midnightshanghai.com.
The Rotary Club of Silver City and the Western New Mexico University Office of Cultural Affairs present the Silver Screen Festival on Sunday, March 12. Three independent films will be shown at the Silco Theater in downtown Silver City, New Mexico at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The films include Insatiable (an award-winning documentary about a homeless man whose Chicago restaurant was awarded a Michelin star), The Quiet American (a drama about an older British reporter who vies with a young American doctor for the affections of a Vietnamese woman) and Katie Says Goodbye (in which a kindhearted 17-year-old turns to prostitution in order to overcome poverty in Arizona) At 5pm there will be a special screening of the Las Cruces International Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner at the Light Hall on the campus of WNMU. Filmmakers will introduce their works and attend a post-fest reception at the WNMU presidents’ residence. Tickets are $10 each, $18 for two films or $25 for all four films. The reception will set you back $45. For complete info go to wnmu.edu/events/silver-screen-festival/
Double Deadline Day
The New Mexico Film Foundation has a couple great opportunities for the next generation of local filmmakers. Both the Girls Make Movies Grant and the Tale Writers Scholastic Script Contest are aimed at young artists and will have their deadlines for submission this coming Wednesday, March 15. To enter the Girls Make Movies Grant, you must be a local woman between the ages of 12 and 25. You need to submit an original screenplay (5 pages or less), short story, poem, comic book or any other original story that you want to turn into a short film. The winning submission will receive a $1,000 production budget and the support of a professional Santa Fe crew to make the short film come to life. Professional mentors will be available every step of the way. The top three finalists will also receive an invitation to the New Mexico Film Foundation Gala at the Governor’s mansion in April of this year where their screenplays will be performed as staged readings. For more info on the grant, go to nmgirlsmakemovies.org. The Tale Writers contest is open to all New Mexico high school college and university students. All you need to do is submit a 10-page script with the theme of New Mexico history. Grand prize is $1,000, second place is $300 and third place is $200. For more details on that one, go to talewriters.org/script-contests.